Leading African music distributor, artist development and rights management firm, Africori, has been acquired by Warner Music Group (WMG). The firm currently manages over 7,000 artists, with offices in Lagos, Johannesburg, and London has its majority stake bought by WMG.
A deal earlier in 2020, granted WMG and Warner Chappell Music (a WMG division) access to what it called “Africa’s largest catalogue and A&R network”, which was a great way for WMG to introduce and establish its presence in several African markets.
According to a media release announcing today’s news, WMG says that its decision to take a majority stake in Africori could see it “become the number one distributor in Africa” and it also mentions that this deal “will open up more opportunities for African artists to tap into the global Warner Music network and enjoy international success”.
Managing Director of Warner Music South Africa and SVP, Strategy, Sub-Saharan Africa, Warner Music, Temi Adeniji added: “With Master KG, we worked closely with the Africori team to take a local hit and connect it with people around the world. This new deal positions us as Africa’s leading distributor and I’m confident that in joining forces, Warner Music South Africa will be in a great position to deliver more wins like Jerusalema in the future.”
Yoel Kenan, CEO, Africori, said: “African music is booming all around the world and some of our artists are right at the heart of the explosion. Through our partnership, Warner Music has proven that it is the perfect home for Africori and our artists going forward. I’m looking forward to continuing to work with them as we break more artists on a global scale.”
Alfonso Perez-Soto, President, Emerging Markets, Warner Recorded Music, said: “Since partnering with Africori, we have established a collaborative and strategic partnership that has resulted in some impressive results on a global level. Yoel Kenan and his team have done an incredible job building a company that is a real force of nature in Africa and, by bringing them into the Warner Music ecosystem, we believe we can give them deeper support as we aim to take African music even more global.”
Africori is the home to some of Africa’s biggest artists such as Master KG, Ben Soul, Blxckie, Kwesta, Nviiri the Storyteller, Rexxie, etc., and it will continue to run as an independent company. This is WMG’s latest investment in Africa, which joins partnerships and deals with Chocolate City, Diamond Platnumz and his label WCB-Wasafi, Ziiki Media, etc.